How to Use the Eyedropper (Sample Color) Tool in MS Publisher

Match your colors perfectly by sampling an existing hue

Instead of picking from the theme colors or other color palettes in Microsoft Publisher, use the eyedropper to select a fill, outline, or text color from any other object in your document.

Instructions in this article apply to Publisher 2019, Publisher 2016, Publisher 2013, Publisher 2010, and Publisher for Microsoft 365.

How to Use the Eyedropper Tool in MS Publisher

The location where you will find and select the eyedropper tool depends on what you want to recolor.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor a Picture Border

  1. Select the picture.

  2. Select the Format tab.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Format tab highlighted
  3. Select Border and then choose Sample Line Color.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Sample Line Color command highlighted
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected object.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor a Shape

  1. Select the shape.

  2. Select the Shape Format tab.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Shape Format tab highlighted
  3. Select Shape Fill and then choose Sample Fill Color (to recolor the inside of the shape) or select Shape Outline and then choose Sample Line Color (to recolor the border of the shape).

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Shape Fill tool highlighted
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected object.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor Text

  1. Select the text you want to recolor.

  2. Select the Text Box tab.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Text Box tab highlighted
  3. Select the Font Color drop-down and then choose Sample Font Color.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Publisher with the "Sample Font Color" command highlighted
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected text.

The colors you select from any area of the publication will appear in the Recent Colors section below Scheme Colors and Standard Colors.

Apply a Background Color

Now that you have a selection of colors, you can start applying color to other objects on your page. 

  1. Select Page Design.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Page Design tab highlighted
  2. Select Background in the Page Background group and choose More Backgrounds to bring up the Fill Effects menu. 

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the More Backgrounds command higlighted
  3. Select Solid Fill or One Color and then choose the Color 1 drop-down menu to reveal the Theme/Standard/Recent Colors.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Color heading highlighted
  4. Choose one of the sampled Recent Colors.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Recent Colors heading highlighted

Apply Color to a Shape

  1. Select the shape you want to recolor or go to use Insert > Shapes to add a new shape.

  2. Select the Shape Format tab.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Shape Format tab highlighted
  3. Select Shape Fill (to recolor the inside of the shape) or select Shape Outline (to recolor the border of the shape).

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Shape Fill tool highlighted
  4. Choose the color in Recent Colors.

    A screenshot of the Shape Fill menu in MS Publisher with the Recent Colors section highlighted

Apply Color to Text

  1. Select the text you want to recolor. To add new text, go to the Insert tab, select Draw Text Box, add a text box to the publication and enter text.

  2. Choose the Font Color menu.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Text Color heading highlighted
  3. Select the color in Recent Colors.

    A screenshot of MS Publisher with the Recent Colors section under Text Color highlighted

Save your publication — the sampled Recent Colors stay with the document.